3 Things That May Improve and Prolong Your Life

At the recent International TED Conference in Vancouver, BC, three key ideas were presented that can give greater meaning to life and perhaps extend it as well.

  1. Face-to-Face Social Interaction Leads to a Longer Life

Psychologist Susan Pinker has discovered from research that improving human connections have the largest single effect on our well-being and our health.  She has written a book about it called The Village Effect.

  1. Knowing When to Turn Off Your Smartphone Enriches Your Life

Professor of marketing and psychology Adam Alter spoke at the Vancouver TED talk and described the benefits to regularly disconnecting – turning the smart phone off and even deleting all emails received when it is off. He has studied the effects screen time has on our lives. He found that the more people are glued to their phones and other devices the less happy they are.

  1. Chasing meaning, not happiness, is what really matters

In The Power of Meaning Emily Esfahani Smith describes how happiness comes from attaining a sense of meaning. Prioritizing people in your life who you truly love is the first important aspect of meaning. The second aspect is having purpose in life. Purpose is our way of adding value or contributing. We can find this purpose in our work and also in volunteer activities.

There is nothing truly new about these ideas. They have long been known but often forgotten or never discovered. You can hear these presentations by simply entering the author’s names in YouTube for TED talks. To dig more deeply into these ideas you can read the books. Click on the titles to order the books.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Reinvention by Brian Tracy

A Books2Wealth Book of the Month Review

A book review by Daniel R. Murphy (Nov 2014)

Title and Author:  Reinvention by Brian Tracy 

Synopsis of Content:

In Reinvention Tracy asks us to reevaluate ourselves, where we are and where we are going. His premise is that the world is changing rapidly and our ability to change and adapt to that changing world is key to success.

He invites us to examine who we are and what we want. He asks us to evaluate what we are worth in the marketplace. He follows this with a chapter on how to get a job which is actually a repeat of some of his previous work.

He wraps up with tips on how to get ahead, how to get the most out of yourself and some steps on how to reinvent yourself.

This book is very change-oriented. Much of what is written is covered in many of Tracy’s previous books so you will not find a lot of new material here. What makes this book different is the focus – it is focused on making changes in yourself to achieve what you want to achieve.

What I found useful about this book:

It is the future oriented and self-directed nature of the book that is most attractive and makes it motivational. If you need a kick in the pants to start making positive changes in your life and move from where you are to where you want to be this book provides some good insight and motivation.

What I did not like about this book:

I wish there was more new material in the book. Most of its content is repeated from past books by Tracy. There is nothing fundamentally new here and if you have read most of his other books you will find that disappointing. If you have not read his past work it will be fresh and inspiring.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

As with all his books Tracy writes well here. It is clear and well organized though the chapter on getting a job seems out of place.

Notes on Author:

Brian Tracy is a renowned personal improvement author and trainer. He is prolific having authored dozens of books and many audio and video programs.

Related Website:

http://www.briantracy.com

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. To reinvent yourself you must take a careful inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, determine where you want to go and what you want to achieve, and then take action to achieve it.
  1. A major characteristic of successful people is that they are very future oriented. They spend a lot more time thinking about the future than the past.
  1. How successful you are is determined mostly by how you think. Thinking positively and in a future oriented manner leads to greater success.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Reinvention by Brian Tracy

Copyright holder: 2009 Brian Tracy

Publisher: American Management Association

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Humility is a Choice

“HUMILITY IS A CHOICE. When you meet a humble person you know you will be accepted, respected and listened to. They won’t try to manipulate you, control you, criticize you or try to impress you. They are safe.

“When we haven’t conquered our pride putting on false humility might seem like the shortcut to the benefits of being a truly humble person. We’ve all met these kinds of people. False humility is nothing but arrogance.” (Leading Blog, April 28, 2017)

Genuine humility is important as a leadership attribute. Nothing alienates others more quickly than arrogance. But false humility is also alienating and can be viewed as a form or arrogance. Pat Williams, author and senior VP of the NBA’s Orlando Magic writes about false humility and genuine humility in his book, Humility: The Secret Ingredient of Success. He identifies four ways to avoid false humility:

  1. Reflect on the kind of person you are and be the person you want to be.
  2. Ask a few trusted friends to be brutally honest with you.
  3. Immediately and humbly admit your faults and failures.
  4. Be honestly humble and humbly honest.

We all have egos and it can be difficult at times to tame those egos and be genuinely humble. Yet it is a powerful quality that we can all benefit from cultivating.

Read the entire blog post here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Top Performance by Zig Ziglar

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Top Performance by Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar was the bestselling author of a number of great books on success and sales. He has been featured on numerous TV shows and was a gifted public speaker. He was both informative and inspirational.

In Top Performance, published in1986, Ziglar combines the things he had learned in decades of work in the business world to provide a blueprint for just what the title suggests – top performance. It is about getting the most out of yourself and others in your organization. It is about optimum performance.

The book is divided into three parts: The Art of Top Performance, The Science of Top Performance and Motivating Top Performance.

The entire book is largely based on Ziglar’s key axiom, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want”. This approach began as his sales theory. Selling things to people is difficult at best. But helping people is much easier and they are much more receptive to being helped. In fact they will more often willingly pay for being helped.

The first part of the book concentrates on the focus of emotional thoughts to enable one to perform at one’s best. It is about your personal choice to be a top performer, causing others to want your leadership, expecting the best and thereby inspiring the best, looking for the good and finding it, etc.

The second part is about the importance of effective communications, how to build genuine morale and positive contributions, rewarding and motivating others, and other management gems.

The third section concentrates on Ziglar’s unique approach to motivating people through education and the key to action as the source of performance measurement.

For each section he develops a simple formula that is easy to remember and keys one in to the more detailed information set out in each chapter. At the end of the chapters he wraps up with a list of key principles which summarize what you should learn from the chapter.

This approach is easy to read, easy to understand and remember. It is a great study aid. For those of you who are wise enough to return to good books and study them further than the first read, this books I organized in a way that promotes that kind of study.

Top Performance is full of anecdotal examples to illustrate the basic principles he introduces you to. It is full of great quotes from many famous and not so famous sources. It is full of tools, like the Seven Step Goal Setting Formula on page 154. It is full of these gems that warrant a second and third review.

Anyone serious about building a library of truly good classic books on success and personal development should have a copy of Top Performance on their shelf. You can get them in paperback and used for a very modest price.

About the Author:

Zig Ziglar, 1926-2012, was an accomplished salesman, businessman, trainer, writer and public speaker.

Rating:

Over all this is a very good book and very useful. I recommend it.

©1986 by Zig Ziglar

Berkley Publishing Group (Penguin)

This review originally published in October 2014.

Buy the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

5 Great Books on Public Speaking You Cannot Miss

Guest Article by Dr. Tan Kwan Hong

Participants in my public speaking workshops have often asked me to recommend some great books that they can read to take their mastery of public speaking to the next level. Indeed, reading is a great way in which you can gain new ideas and novel perspectives on speech delivery.

Here are 5 books I highly recommend that you can read to improve your public speaking skills.

Book #1: Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

A book that divulges the secrets behind what great speakers and communicators do, and how you can emulate the success of these speakers through highly practical tips.

Book #2: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

The ideas presented in this book are current and cutting-edge. If you want to learn how to sell yourself and your ideas on stage, this book is for you.

Book #3: Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History’s Greatest Speakers by James C. Humes

Great leaders like Churchill and Lincoln are not only remembered for their heroic leadership, but also for their mesmerizing and captivating speeches. If you want to learn how to deliver inspirational speeches that captures the hearts and souls of your audience, pick up this book right away!

Book #4: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds

Garr Reynolds is going to change the way you deliver presentations using PowerPoint and Keynote. This book presents noteworthy ideas that transform the way you prepare, design and deliver your presentations.

Book #5: The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie

A classic book of public speaking by the guru of communication, Dale Carnegie. This book discloses the fundamentals of how you can influence minds and win hearts through effective speaking. Another book not to be missed!

Conclusion

While I strongly believe that the best way to learn how to deliver exceptional speeches is to do the real thing itself (yes! keep getting stage time to practice your speeches and hone your craft), reading books for new ideas and novel perspectives can put you on a highway to success and accomplishments in this arena. So go forth and pick up a book right away!

About The Author

Kwan Hong helps professionals, business executives and youths gain rapid mastery in communication skills, personal peak performance and career growth. He has synthesized knowledge from 8 Degrees and Diplomas, from over 100 certifications and from 1000 books to bring his clients the best tips, tricks and techniques for personal success.

To date, 120,000 participants from over 100 organizations and events have benefited from his speaking engagements.

Reach out to him at http://www.TanKwanHong.com]http://www.TanKwanHong.com , or connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/tankwanhong]http://www.linkedin.com/in/tankwanhong .

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?5-Great-Books-on-Public-Speaking-You-Cannot-Miss&id=9479351] 5 Great Books on Public Speaking You Cannot Miss

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Rewire: Change Your Brain by Richard O’Connor, PhD

A book review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author: Rewire: Change Your Brain by Richard O’Connor, PhD

Originally published: September 2014.

Synopsis of Content:

This book is an exploration of self-defeating behaviors and how to overcome them. These behaviors include procrastination, overeating, chronic disorganization, staying in bad situations, excessive worrying, risk taking, passive aggression and self-medication and many more.

The author draws on psychology and brain science to understand why we engage in self-defeating behaviors and how to overcome them through a better understanding of how our brains are “wired” and how we can “re-wire” them.  He calls our propensities to engage in these behaviors our “undertow”.

The author, a psychotherapist, describes the mind as divided between a conscious self and an automatic self. Many of our self-defeating behaviors are rooted deeply in the automatic self (subconscious). Habits are formed largely in this automatic self. Bad habits are in fact “wired” into your brain and this makes them difficult to overcome. To overcome bad habits we must learn to re-wire our brain.

Habit is reinforced by repeatedly doing them and in some instances by the pleasure principle – because some habits bring us pleasure. The brain actually rewires itself when we learn something new. “Neurons that fire together wire together” he says.

It is possible to rewire the brain by being aware of how it works and by forcing ourselves to behave differently and consistently for at least three months. In fact the re-wiring process begins immediately, as soon as we change behavior. But to attain a sufficient degree of re-wiring to truly change a habit seems to require at least three months of consistent behavior. Even then if the behavior is not continued the re-wiring can be lost.

Habits are therefore self-reinforcing. Each time we engage in a habit (good ones or bad ones) the more likely that habit will persist.

O’Connor offers hope for those who want to overcome deeply seated and long lasting bad habits. He provides exercises to help re-wire the brain.

What I found useful about this book:

This book provides an understanding on both a psychological level and a physiological level of how the brain works, how habits are formed, how they are reinforced and how they may be changed.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written a reasonably well organized. It is a bit dense as one might expect from the writing of an expert but the ordinary reader should not have difficulty with it.

Notes on Author:

Richard O’Connor, MSW, PhD is an author of four books and is executive director of the Northwest Center for Family Science and Mental Health in Litchfield County, Connecticut. He supervises the work of 20 mental health specialists. He is a practicing psychotherapist in Connecticut and New York.

Other Books by This Author:

Undoing Depression

Undoing Perpetual Stress

Happy at Last

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Understand that habits, both good and bad, are hardwired in our brains. The more we do them the more these physical connections are reinforced.
  1. It is possible to change this hard wiring – to rewire the brain through persistent conduct.
  1. Our beliefs and assumptions can heavily influence out thinking. It is wise to re-examine our beliefs and assumptions regularly to make sure they are not supporting bad habits.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Rewire: Change Your Brain by Richard O’Connor, PhD

Copyright holder: 2014 Richard O’Connor, PhD

Publisher: Hudson Street Press – Penguin Group

Buy the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Everything Can Be Improved II

“If you get one percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.” – James Clear. This sums up the power of continuous or incremental improvement. If you just make a small improvement every day it really adds up. Clear has written a number of articles on continuous improvement and most recently a post on his blog.

In November 2015 I wrote on this and gave credit to Clarence W. Barron for first using this phrase, Everything Can Be Improved.  At that time I did not know about Clear’s writing on the subject. Making big improvements is exciting and gets lots of attention. However, making big improvements takes lots of time and energy (and sometimes money) and cannot be sustained. Making small but continuous improvements however is much more achievable. It can be done every day at minimum cost.

Another advantage to continuous improvement is that it is less disruptive than big changes. Sometimes a big change is a great idea, sometimes it is essential. But on a daily basis incremental improvements are less costly and add up to significant improvement over time.

Clear suggests these tools to improve incrementally:

  1. Do more of what already works
  2. Avoid tiny losses
  3. Measure backwards

I would add another step to this. Keep track of your small improvements. I keep a list on my computer of the incremental improvement projects that I implement each day, each week and each month. If you do not keep track of them you can lose sight of them and fail to follow through.

Incremental improvements begin with full acceptance of the concept that in fact everything can be improved. Once you adopt that mindset you can find ways to improve everything you do, both personally and in an organization, day by day. Following Clear’s formula this can realize an overall improvement of 37.78% per year if you assume a 1% improvement each day. It adds up.

Adopt the mindset that everything can be improved and then resolve and plan to make tiny improvements each day.

Read all of Clear’s article here.

What can you improve on today?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Procrastination: 10 Days to Stop Being Lazy by David Patton

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:   Procrastination: 10 Days to Stop Being Lazy by David Patton
Subtitle: A Step by Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating in 10 Days, Form Productive Habits and Get More Done

Synopsis of Content:  

Patton defines procrastination in terms of avoidance, denial, distraction and emotional maneuvering.  He then outlines a process whereby you can change a habit to be used to change the habit of procrastination.

The chapter on why we procrastinate is thorough. Patton delves into the many well-recognized reasons why people procrastinate. This is followed by a chapter on how to set goals, prioritize and manager time. Here is discusses the SMART method of goal setting. He also discusses the Eisenhower Matrix with its four quadrants of urgent, not urgent, important and not important.

Chapter 4 discusses how to motivate oneself. He talks about the Fogg Behavior Model. This is followed by a chapter on how to automate and sustain action.

This is a good primer on well-established knowledge about procrastination and techniques to overcome it. There is nothing new here but the report, at 22 pages, is easy to read through and covers the main points well. For those struggling with procrastination this little book provides an excellent introduction to the subject and some great methods to overcome it.

What I found useful about this book:

This book captures the essential information needed to understand procrastination and develop ways to defeat it. It is short enough to read in one sitting. This book or report is small but it captures the essentials of how to understand procrastination and how to fight it.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This small book is very readable. It is well organized. Most people could read it in one sitting.

Other Books by This Author:

A report on One Easy Technique to Master Time and Reach Goals

Related Website:   

Download the book here: http://amzn.to/2pfoY2P

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:  

  1. Use the SMART goal method to set realistic, measurable and achievable goals.
  2. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize your tasks and activities to get the important things done first.
  3. Use triggers to motivate yourself and get things done.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Procrastination: 10 Days to Stop Being Lazy by David Patton
Copyright holder: David Patton
Publisher: Self published on Amazon.com

Buy the book here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Will You Pay the Price?

Benjamin P. Hardy, a doctoral candidate in psychology, recently wrote a post on the on-line journal Thrive Global about achieving anything you want if you pay the price. Hardy’s premise is an old one. If you are willing to pay the price, sharpen your focus, stop wasting your time and say no to a lot of things you can pursue your dream and achieve what you wish to achieve.

Hardy is right. If you are willing to pay the price there is little you cannot achieve. But the more you want to achieve the higher the price. The price is what you must give up to attain what you want. Hardy glances over this aspect of the formula. Can you devote the time you want to devote to family and friends, to your favorite hobbies, and to other activities that are important to you, and still maintain that level of devotion required to attain your goal? That is the difficult question that anyone who has pursued a challenging goal has had to struggle with. It can be a very difficult struggle.

How badly do you want to achieve your goal? That is the question. You must say no to a great many things to achieve something great. Are you willing to do that? I have long found this question fascinating. I’ve seen many people pay the price and achieve the goal. Some of them believe it was well worth it, some regret the price they paid.

Hardy’s list of things you can achieve and the prices you must pay to achieve it are informative and inspiring. In the end though the answer to the question are you willing to pay the price can only be answered by you. It is an intriguing question for us all. How badly do you want what you think you want to achieve? How high a price are you willing to pay?

In the end you will only know if it was worth it if you try it. You must have the drive to achieve what you want and then the discipline to pay that price. Once you have paid that price and achieved that goal, only then can you know if it was worth it for you.

So how badly do you want to achieve your audacious goal? How high a price are you willing to pay to achieve it?

You can read Hardy’s post here and then think about what you want to achieve and what price you are willing to pay.

What do you think?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

Synopsis of Content:

This book is about how we pay attention to the world around us and to what we do. It is about how we focus on things, or fail to. It is also about the consequences of how we focus or fail to, from how it affects our personal achievement and performance to how it may affect the fate of human kind.

Goleman begins by explaining how we pay attention, how we focus and how we make fundamental decisions based on an overview of the anatomy of our brain. He explains the difference between “bottom up” thinking, where our more primitive brain (the amygdala) drives basic reactive thought and instinct based fast thought, such as what drives us (food, sex, emotion) and the slower “top down” thinking that emanates from our more advanced pre-frontal cortex or executive functioning brain. Critically to understand how these work one must also understand how they conflict and how they complement one another. Understanding the way the brain works helps us understand and influence whether we merely react or whether we control our thought.

The book then goes on to explore a somewhat eclectic selection of brain functions and attributes that form our thought processes. He explores how we perceive others, or “read” them; the role of empathy in our thinking; how we perceive patterns or fail to; how we act upon immediate threats but largely ignore distant threats; and how these thinking patterns help us to succeed and to fail.

He discusses how not the amount of practice but the quality of practice defines how proficient we are. He challenges the 10,000 hour myth, in which it is argued that a talent or skill is developed to proficiency with 10,000 hours of practice explaining that proficiency and mastery require quality practice for many hours.

He then applies these ideas to what makes a more effective and well-focused leader and ultimately how our success or failure to apply these ideas may well spell survival or death to human civilization.

What I did not like about this book:

The book starts out examining how we think and learn without an apparent agenda. In the end there clearly is an agenda. Goleman does not merely prescribe how our focus can make us succeed as leaders but in the end how it can cause us to fail as a species due to what he argues is our Achilles heel: our apparent inability to adequately recognize long term threats and act in the present to avoid them.

In doing this he advances an argument that our failure to recognize the ultimate environmental threat we face (primarily human driven climate change) may well lead to our destruction. He offers little to suggest how we overcome this fate, if indeed it is our fate.

What I found useful about this book:

Despite its shortcomings the book is an excellent introduction into how our minds work in terms of attention and focus and how that influences what we achieve or fail to achieve. It teaches how a complex interrelationship between our more primitive thinking and our more sophisticated thought processes can work together to be very effective.

He also provides some insight into the crucial role that emotions can play both to our detriment and to help us succeed more effectively. He also explains how we can be more effective as a leader by understanding these aspects of our brain and using that knowledge to control what we do and how we do it.

Ultimately the book is about what we pay attention to and how we do so. It is about how our use of focus can help us and our failure to be aware of it can hurt us.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written and well organized. The writing is stimulating and engaging. He makes the reader think and helps the reader to understand disparate concepts that work as a whole.

Notes on Author:

Daniel Goleman is a former science journalist and author. He also speaks publically. He cofounded the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning at Yale University and now at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Other Books by This Author:

Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence

The Brain and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Creative Spirit

In all Goleman has written 13 books related to emotion, the mind and leadership.

Related Website:

http://www.danielgoleman.info/

http://www.eiconsortium.org/index.html

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Our thinking is driven by two different brain functions, a bottom up primitive process centered in the amygdala and a more sophisticated reasoning process, or top down process, driven by the pre-frontal cortex. Understanding how these different forms of thought influence us can help us to be more effective in our thinking.
  1. It is possible to train ourselves to focus more intently and intentionally which can protect us from more turbulent emotional thought. This can reduce anxiety and other emotional functions that are defeating.
  1. While focus and disciplined thought are important and helpful to us daydreaming and unfocused thought also play a vital role in creativity and problems solving. It is critical to use both types of thinking.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

Copyright holder: 2013 by Daniel Goleman

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, NY.

Get the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com